“They’re trying to get away with murder, because that’s what to me, the San Bruno experience was. It was not an accident. It was murder.”
Sen. Jerry Hill, reported by CBS News July 28, 2014 1:20 PM [i]
On September 9, 2010, a massive explosion occurred in San Bruno, California, south of San Francisco, which killed 8 people, injured many more, and destroyed 40 homes.
Jacqueline Greig was one of those killed. An analyst with the Office of Ratepayer Advocates, she was part of the team that exposed billions in overcharges by PG&E that year.
The initial reports including from eyewitnesses were that a plane had crashed. One reported hearing a plane engine sputtering. Another eyewitness reported fire coming from the sky. Those news reports are now hard to find on the internet, though one Philippine news site still states:
First responders via emergency scanners initially said, “A ‘large commercial aircraft had crashed in the area, setting scores of homes on fire…” [ii]
An eyewitness saw and photographed a F-18 jet with ordinance on September 9 in San Jose, flying north.
On 09-10-10 at 11:06 A.M. a huge jet, resembling Air force One flew over San Jose. At 11:29 A.M. an F-18 flew over, and at 12:46 P.M. an AC -130 gunship (with the side gun turrets) followed.
The F-18’s engines were roaring like a freight train. The F-18 appeared to be carrying large fuel tanks and ordinance.
At approximately 6:14 P.M., in San Francisco’s suburb, San Bruno, one eyewitness described seeing a huge fireball fall from the sky – before the explosion.
A detailed article is here:
An AP report said the NTSB had been unable to verify complaints of gas leaks.
Christopher Hart, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said investigators want to speak with anyone who smelled gas in the days leading up to the blast, especially those who reported the problem to PG&E or any other officials. Hart said Monday that investigators have not yet seen any record of gas leak complaints.
‘We’re pursuing those rumors, and we’ve obtained records — not only from PG&E but from other places where people might call. And so far, we have not been able to verify that anybody smelled gas and called it in,’ Hart said.” (emphasis added)http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100913/ap_on_bi_ge/us_large_explosion
Cited in http://www.examiner.com/article/san-bruno-sept-9-plane-photo
PG&E has been charged with many things over the years. It sees nothing wrong with harming people and lying about it. Is it capable of murder?
Ask the people of Hinkley and Kettleman Hills,[iii] or the people of Midway Village near San Bruno. Ask the thousands of people harmed by PG&E’s Smart Meters, including the family of Larry Nikkel who died in 2011.
What will PG&E do to protect profits, privilege, monopoly, and immunity? How far will it go?
The previous post here about Governor Jerry Brown is just one example of the high level involvement in state government by PG&E. And there is the CPUC,[iv] repeatedly called a lapdog for the utilities.
With politicians in their pockets and vast resources at their disposal, and given PG&E’s history, PG&E certainly has the means and the reputation.
Then there is motive.
Jacqueline Greig was a highly qualified regulatory analyst as well as a much-beloved staff member.[v]
Jacki was a long-time Commission employee of over 20 years and worked for the Commission’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) as a senior regulatory analyst in DRA’s Natural Gas Section. She spent the majority of her career in DRA working on natural gas matters and soon rose to become one of the most foremost and invaluable natural gas experts at the CPUC. She was also DRA’s representative on the natural gas committee of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates.
Jacki was a dedicated Commission employee with keen professional insight and a staunch advocate for California ratepayers. Jacki was a stellar individual and consistently earned the highest commendations from her supervisors and managers over the years.
From In Memorium, ORA 2010 annual report to the California legislature, p. 7
Jacqueline Greig and the ORA have had an enormous impact on PG&E profits, to the tune of billions of dollars. The 2011 rate case and ORA’s opposition to PG&E’s massive food and entertainment budget are just two examples of serious impacts to PG&E’s corporate culture and lifestyle.
In May 2011, the CPUC issued a decision which adopted the settlement agreement of seventeen parties, including DRA. The agreement allows PG&E to receive a cumulative base revenue increase of $1.7 billion for the 3-year period covering 2011, 2012, and 2013.
In 2009, PG&E had originally requested a 3-year, cumulative revenue increase of nearly $4.2 billion for its electric distribution, gas distribution, and electric generation operations. After a detailed analysis of PG&E’s request, in 2010 DRA released its reports which found that only a $1.0 billion cumulative increase in revenues was reasonable for 2011-2013.
DRA’s analysis and negotiation aided in saving PG&E customers $2.47 billion for 2011 through 2013.[vi]
And costing PG&E $2.47 billion. Last month, ORA opposed millions of dollars in PG&E executive bonuses.[vii]
In July, federal charges of obstruction of justice – lying — were filed against PG&E.[viii]
When are the feds going to investigate murder?
[ii] http://today24news.com/breaking/san-bruno-plane-crash-or-explosion-fire-bu rned-homes-1-dead-103973 — this is a news site from the Philippines, hence the choppy translation.
[v] “Her friends and colleagues miss her every day.” The 2010 ORA report had many warm words for her. At the California Public Utilities Commission, there is a special bench and tree in the courtyard. It is a memorial to Jacqueline Greig, and if you go onto ORA’s website, you will find her name “In Memorium” on the home page. http://www.ora.ca.gov/general.aspx?id=1396
2011 DRA annual report, p. 25